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Friday, October 31, 2014
And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
As we continue our devotional readings in Daniel I must apologize, I should have had you read Daniel 7 before Daniel 5. Remember, from our last reading Belshazzar was killed when the Medes and the Persians attacked Babylon. As we read the first verse of Daniel 7 Belshazzar was beginning the first year of his reign.
In Daniel 8:1 Belshazzar was in the third year of his reign as the leader of the Babylonian Empire. It is very difficult to have died and then reign for three years. The way to read through Daniel, chapter by chapter, is in the following order: 1-2-3-4-7-8-5-6-9-10-11-12. This is the chronological order for the book of Daniel.
Now back to Daniel 7, Daniel had become a leader, most likely the third highest-ranking leader, in the Babylonian Empire, by the time he reached 70 years of age, his age at the time of the "night vision" recorded in our extended reading passage.
For almost 50 years he had served as a counselor to King Nebuchadnezzar and now Daniel was serving his grandson, Belshazzar in the first year of his reign, verse 1.
As a young man Daniel had been gifted by the Lord to interpret King Nebuchadnezzar's dream, Daniel 2, which was a prophecy of the present and future Gentile world powers from Daniels' day until the return of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Now some 50 years later the Lord gives Daniel a "vision" of that same scenario for the Gentile world empires and what would happen at the Second Coming of Jesus.
Since I don't have the time and space to go into a lot of detail, let me give you the overall big picture, presented to Daniel in his "night vision". Daniel would see "four great beast" rise up out of the sea, each one diverse from the other, verse 3.
Let me remind you that this is "apocalyptic literature". In "apocalyptic literature" the author uses "symbols" to convey an "absolute truth". The symbol is not an allegory nor a fairy-tale, but an "absolute truth".
That being said, please allow me to take a shortcut and tell you what the symbols represent in Daniel 7. The "lion with eagles wings" is the Babylonian Empire, verse 4. The "bear with three ribs in its mouth", verse 5, is the Medo-Persian Empire. In verse 6, the "leopard with four wings and four heads" is the Grecian Empire.
The "awesome beast" in verse 7 is the "Roman Empire" (See my audio series, "The Daniel Papers").
I understand I haven't gone into very much detail on this prophecy that Daniel received in a "night vision" but deeper study will reveal these truths.
Please notice verses 13-14. Here is the promise of a future "kingdom" that will be given to Jesus Christ, the "Son of Man", verse 13, by the "ancient of days", God the Father. This is a "kingdom" that comes after the "Revived Roman Empire" and the "Antichrist" are on the scene, and it will be an "everlasting kingdom".
I remind you that it is not a "Kingdom" which is in place now. This "Kingdom", referred to in this passage, will be given to Jesus, at the return of the Messiah, by God the Father.
By the way, the European Union Treaty accepted by all 28-member states of the EU calls for a "Supra-State", the United States of Europe. The Treaty also provides for an EU that will be led by a "powerful, permanent president" and that person selected and put in power.
These both, if not the ultimate fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, then they sure are a prototype of the characters to come on the scene as foretold in prophecy yet to be fulfilled, seemingly in the near future.
Remember, before all of these prophecies are fulfilled the Rapture of the Church take place and that could happen even today. Keep looking up.
PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord to live pure and productive every day as I prepare for the Rapture which could happen today.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom, being about threescore and two years old.
This fifth chapter of Daniel's prophecy is not only a prophetic passage of great importance but also a chapter that has a very important historic significance as well.
The King of Babylon, at the time of Daniel 5, is Belshazzar who most likely was the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar. King Nebuchadnezzar had died and Belshazzar came to power over this world empire near the time of the end of this great Gentile world power.
The King had invited 1,000 of his "lords" to a banquet, which actually turned into the "last hoorah" for King Belshazzar.
Though the Medes and the Persians had been threatening to overthrow the Babylonians, the King felt secure inside the walls of this supposedly "impregnable city" with it's double high walls surrounding the city, a city that never had been defeated.
During the course of the evening the King called for the "Temple vessels" that his grandfather had brought out of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem to Babylon. The King had his servants fill these "special vessels" with wine and made these "special vessels" available to the King's guest. This was a very bad mistake, which I will discuss a bit later.
It was while the drunken party was going on that the Medes came from the North and the Persians from the South and damned up the water entering the city under it's Northern wall, and exiting under it's Southern wall.
That gave Babylon's enemies a dry tunnel under the walls to enter the city. This was the method by which the "impregnable city" was entered by its major enemies at that time. The Babylonian Empire was brought down by the Medo-Persian Empire, the second of the Gentile world powers to rule over Jerusalem and the Jewish people.
This passage, describing the fall of the Babylonian Empire, does not mention that the city of Babylon was destroyed, only the Empire. The truth be known, the city of Babylon has never been destroyed, as Bible prophecy says will happen in the last days.
Secular history tells us that Alexander the Great ruled the world from his headquarters in Babylon, 200 years after the fall of the Babylonian Empire. Peter, the Apostle, started a church in Babylon, 500 years after the fall of the Empire, I Peter 5:13. Babylon, one day in the future, will be destroyed, as revealed in Revelation 16.
Biblical Babylon is the modern-day state of Iraq, where the Antichrist will be headquartered and will rule over a "one world" political, governmental, economic system in the last days. The rebuilding of war-torn Iraq is setting the stage for Bible Prophecy to be fulfilled.
Keep looking up, because the Rapture happens before all of these prophecies are fulfilled. In reality, the Rapture could happen today, what a day it would be for all of us who know Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour.
PRAYER THOT: Help me, Lord to discern the urgency of the moment in these days that seem to be the last days and help me to live in light of this knowledge.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.
For our extended reading today, I would like for you to read the entire chapter of Daniel 3. This chapter, in the book of prophecy written by Daniel, is not a prophetic passage.
However, it is very practical and is one of the three very practical passages in Daniel, which also includes Daniel 4 and 6. We will use these chapters in another devotional, later on.
Daniel, the author of the book, is not mentioned in chapter 3 and there is not a definite reason that we can point you to scripturally on the subject. There have been suggestions that Daniel may have been traveling during this time.
Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, had an "image of gold", verse 1, erected in Babylon, most likely an "image of a man", an image of himself that was ninety feet tall and nine feet wide at it's base.
Nebuchadnezzar's wise counselors set a trap for the three Hebrew companions of Daniel; Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, which are their godly Hebrew names. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego are the Chaldean names for these three Hebrew boys.
The trap for these three was the royal order for everyone to bow to the "image of gold" when they heard the sound of music. Failure to bow would be met with the punishment of being thrown into the "fiery furnace".
Please let me point out several real blessings from the many that you will notice as you read our extended reading for the devotional today.
The three Hebrew boys refused to bow and when brought before Nebuchadnezzar they told the King that "their God which they served was able to deliver them from the burning fiery furnace", verse 17.
That assurance was a real blessing for the three, as it is for us today, an assurance that He can deliver us from any "fiery trial". However, look at the next verse, verse 18, "but if not".
Please read our key verse several times, "But if not", if God decides not to deliver us, the boys said, "we will not serve thy gods or worship the golden image".
That is the attitude missing today. Often we want God to be "Johnny on the spot", to take care of us all the time. I love that phrase, "but if not". What God decides is best, whether I think so or not.
The three boys did not "bow" and they were thrown into the furnace where they did not "burn". They not only did not burn, even the smell of smoke was not upon their bodies nor their clothing, verse 27.
When the Lord does something, He does it right. It was Jesus Christ, in a "pre-incarnate" appearance, that came to rescue the three Hebrew boys, verse 25.
This is a great story that ended with the three Hebrew boys being promoted in the Babylonian Kingdom, verse 30. Though it's not actually a prophetic passage, it does have a prophetic spiritual application.
In the last days God will protect the Jewish people from the "fiery Tribulation", a period of time known as "Jacob's trouble", that seems to be coming very soon. Remember, the Lord will preserve the Jewish people, He has a special plan for them in the future.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your protection. Please give me that "but if not" attitude when You have a better plan for me.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for Your protection. Please give me that "but if not" attitude when You have a better plan for me.
Tuesday, October 28, 2014
And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
March 25, 2014 was the 57th anniversary of the signing of the "Treaty of Rome" signed by the European leaders 57 years ago in the city of Rome. More on the significance of this day in a moment, but first, to our reading for today.
Daniel had been summoned by the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar to tell him his dream and to interpret the dream for the King. God gifted Daniel with the ability to reveal the dream to the Babylonian King, verse 28, and to interpret it for him.
The dream that King Nebuchadnezzar had was of an image of a man with a head of gold, chest and arms of silver, his belly and thighs of brass, two legs of iron and ten toes of iron and clay mixed. There was a stone that hit the image of the man and broke it into pieces.
These broken pieces were like chaff of the summer threshing floors and the wind carried them away. The stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.
Daniel's interpretation of the King's dream was actually the revelation of the "empires" of the coming Gentile world powers from the times of Daniel until the times of the return of Jesus Christ. Daniel told King Nebuchadnezzar that he was the "head of gold", verse 38, the first of the Gentile world powers.
The passages in Daniel 7 and 8 give us the understanding that the Medo-Persian Empire followed by the Grecian Empire and the Roman Empire would take Gentile history along the way of history, all the way to a time when the "ten toes" would appear. Let me tell you that the "ten toes" are the "Revived Roman Empire" of the future (see my study, "The Daniel Papers").
It was 57 years ago that a group of Europeans met to sign the "Treaty of Rome" in Rome, Italy, that set the stage for the Common Market, which is today the European Union. A close look at the European Union reveals that it is at least an "infrastructure" of the fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy of the "ten toes" which will be ten nations, kings, or regions.
The key verse to notice about this prophecy is verse 44, "in the days of these kings". The God of heaven will destroy them and set up the kingdom that Jesus Christ will rule and reign over at His Return. This interpretation of these prophecies fits the prophecies of John the Revelator in his book of prophecy, Revelation 17.
The evidence is strong that we are living in those days. But remember, before the Lord's Second Coming, seven years before, the Rapture takes place and that could happen today.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you for Daniel's prophecy that helps me understand the Lord's time and that which proceeds His coming back to the Earth. Help me to realize the Rapture could be very close at hand and how then I should live in light of that realization.
Monday, October 27, 2014
As for these four children, God gave them knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom: and Daniel had understanding in all visions and dreams.
Today we begin the reading of the passages from the book of Daniel for our devotionals. This is a book that is basically a "timeline" of the "Gentile world powers" from the days of Daniel until, and including the Tribulation period, the seven years of judgment on the earth and earth-dwellers in the future. This time period is known as the "times of the Gentiles".
As the Babylonian Crown Prince Nebuchadnezzar was fighting in Egypt, he received the message that his father had died and he had been promoted to "King of Babylon". On his journey back to Babylon he passed through Jerusalem and noticed a strange type of worship of a different God than his god. The worship of this new God was going on in a Temple like he had never seen.
Knowing that he was to become ruler of the known world, he was determined to know something about this new, to him, religion. Nebuchadnezzar decided to take some "hostages" from the "royal family" in Jerusalem back home with him to learn more about this religion.
Chapter one of Daniel is the sojourn of Daniel and three of his Hebrew friends to Babylon to learn the ways of the Chaldeans. They were to be trained to become a part of the group known as the "wise men" in Nebuchadnezzar's court.
As you read this account you learn how teenage boys (Daniel was 15 years old when taken to Babylon) could purpose in their hearts, verse 8, to honor the Lord with their obedience to His plan for their lives.
God would honor their obedience and give them "knowledge and skill in all learning and wisdom", verse 17. At the same time God was preparing young Daniel to minister to the King, Daniel 2. Daniel would not only win the King's favor but reveal through the interpretation of the Kings dream, God's plans for the future.
God would use this man Daniel to give us the prophetic truths that describe many current events today giving us evidence that we are quickly approaching the time of the return of the Lord (see my study on Daniel).
Because Daniel purposed in his heart to do right, God used him for His purposes, to explain to us His plan for the future. The twelve chapters of Daniel are prophecies of the unfolding of the historic events that will take place on the earth leading up to the time of the coming of Jesus Christ back to the earth.
Our study of some of these prophecies found in the book of Daniel will reveal to each student of God’s prophetic Word that the events foretold 2,500 years ago are about to be fulfilled in the near future. Remember, the very next event to happen is the Rapture, which could happen today.
PRAYER THOT: Allow me to be used by you Lord as I purpose in my heart to honor you.
Sunday, October 26, 2014
Now these are the names of the tribes.
In the text that is in front of us today, Ezekiel 48, for our devotional we see the "faithfulness" of God in keeping His promises. The Lord made a promise to Abraham and to Moses about the "land" that He will give the Jewish people and this passage is the "title deed" for the Jews.
The entire chapter, as you read it, is sometimes difficult to understand. The Lord is telling the "twelve tribes" of Jacob that they will get a piece of real estate that will be theirs forever.
This list is only one of 38 different passages in the Bible that gives us information on the exact borders for each of the tribes. Space will not allow for all this information, so let me give you a summary of these passages.
God will be giving the Jews ten times what they have today. The actual borders start near the Nile River in Egypt extending north to the Euphrates River, taking in half of Egypt, all of Israel, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan.
The borders go south along the Euphrates to the Persian Gulf, which will take in half of Iraq and three quarters of Saudi Arabia. All of this real estate is promised to the Jewish people. Ezekiel starts to reveal only a portion of all that God will give the Jews.
The late President Assad of Syria said that the problem in the Middle East is the Jews believe that God has given them all of this land. It is true, God has given all this land to the Jews, to be theirs during the Kingdom to come.
Until that time there will be "major conflicts" between the Jews and their "enemies" listed in the pages of God’s Word. These conflicts, the fight by these listed nations to keep the Jews from getting this land, will not negate God’s promises and plans for the Jews
The Lord talks about the Jews returning to the "land" and He tells them the land will be producing for them all that they may need in the way of food, clothing and shelter. Then He tells them that what He is doing is not for them but for "His holy namesake".
This verse in Ezekiel, Ezekiel 36:22, is applicable to Ezekiel’s promise on the land in our devos for today. The Jews will get this land, for His holy namesake.
However, before this land will be given to the members of the twelve tribes, there will be seven years of judgment, the Tribulation, a time when the "conflicts" spoken of earlier will intensify. We can already see that beginning to happen.
In these days we can see the stage being set for all the prophetic passages in God’s Word, especially those prophecies written by the ancient Jewish Prophet Ezekiel in our devotional scripture for today. These prophecies will be fulfilled and seemingly in the near future. Remember, the Rapture is next, and that could be today.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for making it so clear what will happen in the last days. Help me to pay closer attention to your plan so that I will be better prepared for the Rapture and to live pure and productive in light of this.
Saturday, October 25, 2014
Afterward he brought me again unto the door of the house; and, behold, waters issued out from under the threshold of the house eastward.
This passage found here in the prophecy of Ezekiel deals with two subjects, the water flowing from the Temple in Jerusalem and the Biblical borders of Israel. Both of these subjects are intriguing and worth the time to study them.
Verses 1 to 12 in this passage detail the events of the Kingdom Period, or at least what happens in Jerusalem at the Temple Mount. After Jesus has built His Kingdom Temple, Zechariah 6:12, and begins to "rule and reign" from this building there will be water flowing from Jerusalem down to the Dead Sea.
This prophecy, referring to water flowing out from the Temple, was recorded by the Prophet, Ezekiel, who was also a Priest. He understands what happens at the Temple during the future Kingdom. The events seem almost unreal.
When the Temple is standing in Jerusalem during the Kingdom there will be a steady flow of water that goes to the Dead Sea, via the Kidron Valley, for the purpose of making this large body of “salt” water a “fresh water lake”.
The water from the Temple will make this lake of "salt water" that is seven times saltier than any ocean in the world, fresh water. In fact, there will be "fishing" done by the local fisherman who will even dry their nets on the shores of the Dead Sea at En Gedi.
This event is similar to what happens in the "New Jerusalem" when water flows from the "throne of God", Revelation 22:1. The "Kingdom Period" is a foretaste of that which is to come in eternity future.
The last portion of our reading for today, verses 13 to 23, is the beginning of the dividing of the Land for the Jewish people during the Kingdom. God has promised the Jews a "piece of real estate" that is ten times larger than what they have today.
There are actually 38 locations in the scriptures that give all the details for the complete borders for this land. This passage in Ezekiel is only a small portion of that information. This "promise" will not be fulfilled until the Kingdom, but, this "land promise" will be fulfilled, by God.
These two prophecies are to be fulfilled in the Kingdom Period and will set the stage for the eternal state of this region of the world, even on the "new Earth", Revelation 21:1.
These prophecies are a comfort to the Jewish people and the realization of what the Lord has told them for almost 4,000 years is about to happen. Abraham was given the promise, Genesis 12, when he came into the land. It will be fulfilled to the Jews as the Lord keeps His promises. He Keeps His Promises to the Jews and to you and me, as Christians.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you dear Lord for being a "promise-keeping" God. I can rest in the fact that you will keep your promise to me of "eternal life" because you keep your promises to the Jewish people. I look forward to you keeping your promise to call me to be with you in the heavens, at the Rapture.
Friday, October 24, 2014
And upon that day shall the prince prepare for himself and for all the people of the land a bullock for a sin-offering.
The passage that we will look at today for our devotional reading is a very troubling portion of scripture for many people. It is discussing the events that take place at the Temple in Jerusalem, the one that Jesus will build when He returns to the earth at the Second Coming, Zechariah 6:12.
In these chapters, we find that the Prophet, in 202 verses, lays out all that is needed, every detail, to construct the Messiah’s Temple and he describes all the activities that will take place at this Temple, which includes "animal sacrifices".
You read correctly, "animal sacrifices" will be performed at the Temple in Jerusalem during the 1,000 year Kingdom Period. Let me set that aside for a moment to look at several other details.
These first six verses in Ezekiel 45 set the borders of the city of Jerusalem, and the size of the Holy City, in the Kingdom. Studying the details reveals that Jerusalem will be 2,500 square miles, 50 miles on each side. That is almost the width of the State of Israel.
Now, back to the restoring of the "sacrificial system" in the Kingdom Period. In this devotional I am not going into full detail on this troubling passage and issue. Let me say that the "sacrifice of animals" in Old Testament times and in the Kingdom Period to come did not, and will not effect the "eternal salvation" of anyone.
Sacrifices were offered up in Old Testament times to restore fellowship of those who "sinned". In the Kingdom there will be Jews in human bodies, that will not only enter the Kingdom, but also will have "children", Isaiah 65:20.
As is the case during all dispensations, every one is "saved by grace, through faith", Ephesians 2:8-9. All Old Testament "saints" accepted what God told them to do, by faith, and thus "salvation", by faith. This salvation is a "gift" from the Lord, not because of offering sacrifices.
Sacrifices will not only restore fellowship, but the whole operation of the Temple will be to instruct the Jews in the Kingdom Period of how to worship the Lord. Look on my website for an article that will go more in-depth on this subject.
This Tribulation Temple will be where the Antichrist will receive "worship" from all on the earth that do not trust in the Messiah for eternal salvation. All preparations have been made for the Tribulation Temple to be put in place, but first the Rapture must take place, and that could happen today. Even so come, Lord Jesus.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the promise of your return to earth, the preparations already made for that to happen and the prospect that it might begin, with the Rapture taking place, soon.
Thursday, October 23, 2014
And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel forever.
This passage of the prophecy written by the ancient Jewish Prophet Ezekiel is the foretelling of the day that Jesus will return to Jerusalem with the Jews that He has retrieved from the safety of the unique city of Petra. This is the climax of the seven years of terrible judgment on the Earth.
Jesus will have returned to the Earth just days earlier and after building His Temple in Jerusalem, Zechariah 6:12, He will go to the Jezreel Valley for the Battle of Armageddon.
In this passage the word "glory", used four times, is referring to the person of Jesus Christ, the Messiah. In the record found in the Old Testament of when the "ark of the covenant" was brought into the Temple, I Kings 8, the "glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord". This is what happens as this prophecy is fulfilled.
Verse 7 tells us that the Lord will walk into the Holy of Holies and be seated on this throne, where He will dwell among His people, the Jewish people, forever. It is at this time that the Lord Jesus Christ fulfills the Jewish Feast Day of Yom Kippur.
This passage that I selected for our devotional reading today is in the midst of six chapters,Ezekiel 40-46, that have the instruction for the Temple, the "Messiah’s Temple" to be built just prior to the Lord setting up His Kingdom.
This Temple will stand in Jerusalem forever, Ezekiel 37:26 and 28. It will be the location from which Jesus will rule and reign during the 1,000 year Kingdom, and on into eternity future.
This is information that we need to know since we will be ruling and reigning with Jesus forever, as well. What a day that will be. This all begins when we go to be with Jesus at the Rapture, which could happen at any time. Therefore, keep looking up.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the promise that we will rule and reign with you during the Kingdom period, and into eternity future. Please help me to live in light of what you have in store for me, and all that know you as Lord and Saviour.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
And it shall come to pass at the same time when Gog shall come against the land of Israel, saith the Lord God, that my fury shall come up in my face.
In the text that I have chosen for the devotional for today we see the names of the present-day nations, or at least a portion of the list of nations, that will align themselves against the Jewish State of Israel.
This passage is a "foretelling" of the military action that will happen in the Middle East in the first three months of the coming "Tribulation Period", the seven years of judgment on this Earth in the future.
The "battle of Gog and Magog" is what the prophet is discussing with us in this passage. It is an "alignment of nations" that will come to Israel to destroy the Jewish State. In this passage we not only see the "who" and the "when", but we also see the "what", that which happens during the coming seven-year period of judgment known as the "Tribulation".
These nations make up the "who" in this passage. The "when" is revealed to us in two verses, verses 8 and 11. These verses speak of the time when the Jewish people come back into the land in the last days and are "dwelling safely" in the land. They also will be living in "unwalled villages".
Both terms are referring to a time when there is "peace" in the land. It will not be the time when Jesus has brought "peace" but a time of a "pseudo-peace" one that will be a "short-lived" peace. This "peace" comes when the Antichrist has established a "peace" in the land, which is in the very beginning of the Tribulation.
The "what" is the unfolding of the war to destroy the Jewish people and take the "land" that God has given the Jews. As these nations attack Israel, God intercedes, verses 18 to 23. Couple this with the verses found in Ezekiel 39, verses 1 to 6, and you come to an understanding that the Lord protects His "Chosen People".
Verse 2, of Ezekiel 39, indicates that 5 out of every 6 Muslims will be destroyed at this battle. This actually renders inoperative the entire Muslim world. This has to be done so that the "one world religion" can be set up in Rome, Italy. Islam will not co-exist with any other religion, thus it must be removed.
This passage in Ezekiel 38 and 39 helps us to understand why the nations of the Middle East and the Islamic world hate the Jews and want to destroy the Jewish State. These nations will continue to do what they can to eliminate Israel until this prophecy is fulfilled.
However, the "Battle of Gog and Magog" will not come to pass until after the Rapture of the Church. The Rapture happens just before the appearance of the Antichrist with his "peace treaty".
As we look at our world today it is evident that we are quickly approaching the days described in our devotional passage for today. That means that the Rapture must be very near, "perhaps today".
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the understanding of Bible prophecy for the last days. It helps me to recognize where I am on Your time clock. Help me to live expecting You to come today.
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.
For further study - Ezekiel 37:15-23
This passage of scripture, selected for today's reading, is a prophetic passage that many Bible prophecy students have either ignored or have not been able to understand.
It is a prophecy that seems to be saying that the "ten lost tribes" of Israel will in the last days be found and they will be reunited with the two tribes known as Judah. According to Jewish history there are no "ten lost tribes" of Israel.
The record found in Ezra speaks of "all twelve tribes" being back in the land some 2,500 years ago when Cyrus gave permission for Zerubabbel to take almost 50,000 Jews back to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple, Ezra 1.
Even the fact that Ezra 6 uses the term "Israel" indicates that it's speaking of all twelve tribes back in the land at the time of the building of the Second Temple.
In Ezekiel 37:11 it states that the "bones", in the dry valley, are the "whole house of Israel". That means representatives of all twelve tribes have been coming back into the land of their forefathers, even though they are coming in unbelief, as the text states they should.
Therefore, the passage for our devotional reading for today is a prophecy of two "Jewish states" during the Tribulation Period that will become one state again at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ when He will cleanse the Jews, and they will be His people, and He their God, verse 23.
The current events that play into this scenario are many. For a number of years this prophetic concept has been discussed among the religious Jews. The former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told former US President George W Bush that Israel was on the verge of civil war, Jew against Jew.
With the disengagement of the Gaza, the Annapolis Middle East Peace Summit and pressure from the Unites States, the European Union and the United Nations, the Israeli government called for the removal of the Jewish settlers in Judea and Samaria, several hundred thousand Jewish settlers.
This call has been met by calls for a "second" Jewish state. A campaign to come up with a "flag" for the second Jewish state, and an "anthem" as well. There are very serious Jewish scholars that are calling for this "second Jewish state", a prophecy that Ezekiel wrote about 2,500 years ago.
The stage is set and all the actors are getting into place, the curtain is about to go up on the final act in this prophetic drama for the last days. Only one thing must happen before all of these prophecies will be fulfilled, and that's the Rapture, which could happen, today. Keep looking up ... Until.
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for the understanding of Bible prophecy for the last days. It helps me to recognize where I am on Your time clock. Help me to live expecting You to come today.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Therefore say unto the house of Israel, thus saith the Lord GOD; I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name's sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went.
In Ezekiel 34:13 the Lord, through the prophet Ezekiel, tells the Jewish people that He will find them wherever they were scattered and bring them into the land that He had promised to give them in the last days.
As we approach our devotional extended reading for today, in Ezekiel 36, we see that the Lord tells the Prophet to speak, to "prophesy", to the land, the land that He had promised to give to the Jews.
As we read this passage, verses 6 and 7, we see what the Lord says to the land. He speaks to the land that had "born the shame of the heathen", and tells of the destruction of the land that God has designated for His use and land that He will give to His "chosen people", the Jewish people, forever.
The Lord even promises the Jews that the land they return to in the last days will be better than it was in the days of their forefathers, verse 11. By doing these things, for the Jews, with His promised land, they shall know that He is the Lord and they shall turn to Him.
Each year, around May 14, the Jewish people celebrate the "birthday" of the Jewish State of Israel and the productivity of the land He has given these Jewish people. This celebration of God's work in fulfilling His promises about the "land of Israel" has been a witness to the entire world.
There is additional information about the land and the Jewish people in verses 12-21. Please read these verses and rejoice with what the Lord is going to do. As you read these verses, remember, the land of Israel and the Jewish people are inseparable.
As we close our devotional reading for today, notice what the Lord reveals to the prophet Ezekiel. In verse 22 the Lord tells the Jews why they have been given this land in these days. It is not because the Jews have become obedient to God's Word or that they have done anything to honor Him and follow His will.
The reason God has given the Jews this land, at least a portion of what He has promised them, is because of "His Holy names sake", verse 22. When the Lord could swear by nothing greater He swore by His name that He would give the land to the Jewish people in the last days.
It's not because of Israel or Judah that the Lord does what He does, but for "His Holy names sake". By the way, that is why He does anything for each of us, as well, for "His Holy names sake".
PRAYER THOT: Thank you Lord for keeping Your word and promises to me even though I am unworthy. You are an awesome God.